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More than 50 schools will have new principals in September

By Bill Hangley Jr. on May 16, 2013 03:04 PM

[Updated 5/17] 

About one in four District schools will open with new principals next year, according to the latest District calculations.

At least 41 of the 218 schools that will be open next year have vacancies, and the District has already made appointments in 12 others -- making a total of more than 50 schools with new leadership.

Update: Here are the 12 schools where vacancies have been already been filled. The District declined to release the names of the newly appointed principals.

  • AMY @ James Martin
  • Bethune (present principal remaining)
  • GAMP
  • Hamilton
  • High School of the Future
  • Key
  • Lea
  • Leeds
  • Pollock
  • Solis-Cohen
  • Spruance
  • Youth Study Center

The turnover has been caused by a combination of retirements, resignations, charter conversions, and school closings. Also principal transfers created some new vacancies.

The District expects to fill half the vacancies from the ranks of current principals -- those displaced from closing schools or Renaissance charters -- and the other half with a combination of other qualified District employees and outside hiring.

The 41 vacancies encompass 12 high schools, 23 elementary schools, five Promise Academies, and one alternative school. (One listing cites both Meade Elementary and a Crossroads Academy alternative school planned for the same site; District officials did not immediately clarify whether they are seeking two principals or one for that site).

Lissa Johnson, the assistant superintendent in charge of tracking the vacancies and hiring, said that 43 principals retired this year, and 21 displaced principals still don’t have new appointments.

She said the 43 retirements are not out of line with past years. In 2012, 26 retired, she said, and 39 in 2011.

Johnson said that 30 assistant principals have also filed for retirement. Those jobs will disappear if the bare-bones school budgets go into effect.

Robert McGrogan, head of the principals’ union, said the retirement numbers can easily continue to change, although he does not expect them to do so dramatically. Given the uncertainty around school budgets, many of his members are “out shopping for jobs,” he said, and may retire if they get a better offer elsewhere.

Principals and teachers were required to file retirement papers by March 15 in order to keep health benefits throughout the summer. Those who filed can rescind through the end of June, and it is also possible that others who receive benefits through a spouse could still decide to retire from the District.

At the same time, McGrogan said, some who have filed for retirement may change their minds and rescind their decision.

Johnson says that retiring principals are required to give the District 60 days notice. “At the latest, the folks who are looking to leave would tell us by June 30,” she said.

And as for assistant principals, Johnson said it could be months before individual schools know what positions will be retained, created, or eliminated. The exact leadership profile for all of the District’s schools won’t necessarily be clear until the waning days of the summer, she said.

“Schools are doing their budgets right now,” and they’ll be done by May 24, said Johnson. “After that time, Human Resources will start collating numbers of positions that are being purchased or dropped. Hopefully we’ll know soon thereafter if we’re getting additional funding from the state or the city, which would then go back to schools. … I don’t know that we’ll really know for sure the full impact until right before school opens.”


Schools with known principal vacancies

Elementary/middle schools High schools Promise Academies Alternative education
Arthur Bartram Barry Crossroads@Hunting Park
Comly Carver Engineering & Science Bryant  
Cooke Creative and Performing Arts Cayuga  
Emlen Franklin Learning Center McMichael  
Forrest George Washington Strawberry Mansion  
Fox Chase Overbrook    
Kearny Parkway Center City    
Lowell Parkway Northwest    
Ludlow Philadelphia Military Academy    
McCall Robeson    
McClure Sayre    
McDaniel Swenson    

Meade/​Crossroads Accelerated Academy

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Comments (112)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 16, 2013 4:08 pm
Does anyone know how many teachers are retiring?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 16, 2013 7:55 pm
HR came to my school today for a school closing meeting and they said 850 teachers filed for retirement.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 16, 2013 10:31 pm
That's a lot. But this will finish up my third year in the district and be my third time I might get laid off. How could you not want to stay for this?!
Submitted by Anne T (not verified) on May 17, 2013 4:43 pm
when I was hired in 1975, I was laid off for 7 years in a row. Most of the time I was hired back before school began. It happens.
Submitted by Jim (not verified) on May 17, 2013 10:50 pm
I've also heard those stories from seasoned teachers. What a drag it was for them to not know where they were going to teach each year. However, they did not live with threats by those in charge expecting you to give up 10% of your salary. These threatened pay cuts are scarily looming over teachers Also, I believer that the Union was strong back then, kept members informed, and fought for their rights as professionals. I remember the strike of 1982 - I was a student in the schools; teachers stuck together and had a REAL leader. Now teachers are treated like pieces of shit. Cheap rhetoric abounds in the media that we all have to sacrifice for our kids for a mess we did not create. I've never been afraid like I am now. Jerry Jordan sends his defensive e-mails a few times a month but that instills no confidence in the PFT members who I know. Jordan should be preparing lawsuits against the governor of this state for targeting minorities and decimating the public schools, but it seems like he hopes that things will magically work out on their own. I wish the PFT would keep us regularly informed and give us hope; at the least, be honest and direct with us, Rather, after two decades of serving in this district I am planning for a less enjoyable life because of impending salary cuts that will result in thousands of dollars less each year. Those in charge are not planning well and considering how lower teachers' salaries will affect the economy: who will be able to afford going out to eat regularly? Who will be able to purchase little extras that make life joyful? What prospective homebuyers will plan to live in New Detroit?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 18, 2013 6:03 pm
Sure it happens. I never meant to imply that my generation of teachers was somehow tougher than the old ones. I just meant to say a functional job does not do this to its employees. A functional job values its good employees and tries to provide an environment where they want to stay and want to work hard. It's like they don't value cultivating teachers who are dedicated to their jobs. Instead, they want to create an environment that drives everyone with the possibility to leave out.
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HR went to my school today for a school shutting meeting and they said 850 instructors petitioned for retirement. the Hatchback cars in india

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Submitted by Rich Migliore (not verified) on May 16, 2013 5:11 pm
I am going to put it right up front. What is the process which will be used to choose the new principals? Will it be an open, inclusive process? Or will it be a closed process? Will it include the local school community including teachers? Or will it be another top down process? Will it be transparent? Or will it just be another secretive process? Will all qualified candidates be invited to apply? Or just a select few? Leadership Matters. It also Matters "How" we choose our leaders. It matters so much!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 16, 2013 7:44 pm
To Rich: The process is supposed to include an interview committee that consists of a pft representative from the school, a home& school association parent, a community partner or leader, and the assistant superintendent assisgned to the school. This committee is supposed to interview the candidates and make recommendations to Dr. Hite. Dr. Hite is then supposed to interview the recommrnded candidates, but that is where the ball gets dropped! The committee members are never informed of the outcome of those interviews and the position can be reposted without informing the committee members. It's all up to Dr. hite in the end. Hope that answers your question Rich!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 16, 2013 7:42 pm
Rich, these are all very good questions. The interview process began weeks ago for current,, displaced principals and other candidates. The first round of interviews for both groups began in April. Prospective candidate first round interviews consisted of viewing a video followed by an oral presentation. . Individual interview panels consisted of current Assistant Superintendents, sitting principals and members of Central Office. Within two weeks candidates were notified of their success and invited via email to apply for "vacant" schools. This process was open to ALL, sitting principals, principals affected by school closures and the public. Sitting principals and displaced principals were subject to a panel interview, written portion and an interview with Dr. Hite. That panel consisted of an Assistant Superintendent and a community member. There are principals who applied for "vacant" positions due to their school closing who have not been placed. Lissa Johnson would have you think that this process has been fair and equitable to all however, there is much about this process that is secretive.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 16, 2013 8:30 pm
I am so happy Dr Penny Nixon can not be blamed for these appointments. Now everyone is going to blame Lissa Johnson. People must place blame some where. It's so sad.
Submitted by Teacher (not verified) on May 17, 2013 10:42 am
Ok Penny. You go girl.
Submitted by Rich Migliore (not verified) on May 17, 2013 8:44 am
So the local school communities and the teachers at the schools they will lead are not part of the process and are excluded. One reason I am pointing this out is that I lived during the era when we had "site selection for principals" and all of us (with limited exception) had to do through the site selection process before we were appointed as principals or AP's.. I also lived through the Vallas and Ackerman regimes when the vast majority of principals were chosen by the regional superintendents or small committees in a top down, autcratic manner. The site selection process for principals, although not perfect, was a far better way of doing it. An institutional illness which has plagued our district for years is what I call the "Whose friend are we putting in today?" disease. That has been the administrative culture of the district. The process you describe is the very same process which infected our district with ineffective principals and bully principals. It is a system that does not produce the best leaders. It is a system that produces mostly "yes men and women" who are chosen only because they have the same "leadership mentality" as the top players. What that system has produced is mostly autocratic, top down administrators instead of collaborative leaders. In my research of leadership in both the private sectors and public sectors, collaborative leadership produced the best results including higher levels of the sense of a collective vision, common mission and collective commitment to task. Great leaders are not yes people. They are "Why can't we?" people. Every great school I have ever worked in, worked with, or studied was a Great school community. School communities, if we really do want them to be true professional learning communities, should choose their own leaders through a collaborative, inclusive and ultimately democratic process. In a professional "school as community centered approach," the site selection process should be symbiotic in nature -- both teachers and principals should be chosen by "the school community" through an open, transparent, and inclusive process. It is time we moved into the 21st century in our notions of school governance and leadership.
Submitted by Rich Migliore (not verified) on May 17, 2013 9:28 am
Oops, typo above. We had to "go through" the site selection process. That is how I became the AP at Furness. Their inclusive local site selection team chose me as their AP. Go down and ask the teachers there what they think of the job I did during my seven years there. The worst form of leadership is "imposed leadership." Whenever Furness had their principal imposed upon them, the principal was ineffective. Whenever their teachers and community were included in the selection process, they had effective principals. A leader can never be effective unless they have the belief in, and the support of -- "the followers."
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Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 21, 2013 5:22 pm
Let's not forget that many on the interview panel were non-tenured principals, non-instructional staff, or those who lacked school based experience. Lissa Johnson the selection process of interviewers. She needs to go.
Submitted by Works with Kids (not verified) on May 17, 2013 12:20 pm
Many principals of closing schools are still waiting to hear about assignments?? Hmmm.. According to the principal at McCall, she will be the next principal at GAMP.. Not sure how transparent her process was..
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 19, 2013 11:57 am
Oh, the cousin of Alleged cheating cover up mastermind Fran Newberg....
Submitted by Poogie (not verified) on May 16, 2013 5:38 pm
This is consistent with district policy that only allows a principal to bond with the small group of teachers who suck up to him upon his arrival in a new school. He promotes these sycophants and then as the the school declines over the next few years he leaves or retires and a new group of sycophants takes over. Anyone who thinks that the current crop of Philadelphia Principals is competent enough to judge the talent of the teaching staff has like Mr. Hite never actually worked inside a Philadelphia School. Yet the plan is to give these guys who barely understand what is going on more power. Crazy Yes? Coming from the private sector is amazing to see the mismanagement and incompetence at he school level in Philadelphia. It is breathtaking. Yet the plan is to double down on the system.
Submitted by DONE and FED UP! (not verified) on May 18, 2013 3:18 pm
Poogie, DITTO! Some Principals are going to stay s it looks on the article because the school wasn't named. There are a several that need to be fired! These were the principals from that era and if they let the remain, then SDP will still be in trouble. Please do not do this. Listen to the teachers, former teachers, parents, students. They can tell you about the incidents that occurred and were brushed under the rug or the cheating or the stealing of students funds to their personal use. Please consider!
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Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 16, 2013 8:40 pm
Are AP's who have been "displaced" part of the pool?
Submitted by Bill Hangley (not verified) on May 16, 2013 9:01 pm
I'm no expert in the process but my understanding is that if they passed the principals' exam they certainly can be.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 16, 2013 10:26 pm
Thanks Bill I hope they don't still have that 5% rule (maybe it's 20% by now who knows) whereby 5% of principas don't have to go thru the academy. I had one of those fine specimens in one school, but the newbies coming out of nowhere are even worse. One of them recently had a teacher terminated using totally false claims. It was clearly a harrassment case which the union fumbled. It was horrific to say the least, because as we all know teachers are people with famlies to support. Sorry for the rant, it's just very frustrating to see this occuring especially for the victims of this malpractice.
Submitted by Rich Migliore (not verified) on May 17, 2013 9:56 am
That is my point exactly. We really don't know "the process" because it is not open and it is not transparent. It is a system which really has no rules. They do whatever they want anyway. Just like we have "election laws" for our mayor, governor and president, etc., and all of our leaders of our government are either elected or appointed though strict legal processes, we need "selection rules" for principals and AP's which are open, honest, transparent and have been developed by the SRC with community input from all stakeholders in schools. No matter how it is twisted, the "imperative of democracy" will never go away. It is the "sine qua non" of Greatness in our public school system.
Submitted by Works with Kids (not verified) on May 17, 2013 12:25 pm
Many displaced principals have yet to find out where they will be next year?? According to the "not displaced" principal of McCall- she will be the new principal at GAMP. I hope her process was "transparent"...
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 17, 2013 1:31 pm
She was interviewed by a conmitte selected by the current Gamp principal. The current Gamp principal was allowed to sit on the interview conmitte. They are friends. So I suppose it's as transparent as usual.
Submitted by Annonymous (not verified) on May 17, 2013 2:51 pm
Again - who you know and not what you know. It will get worse if there is no seniority. It will be like many of the charter schools - nepotism reigns. (GAMP has a long history of nepotism. The former principal, Milicia, hired his wife. Yes, he had to evaluate his wife in a school with 500 students. Then, when she retired, another Milicia was hired.)
Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on May 19, 2013 5:24 pm
You need to have a militia just in case, the barbarians attack. You can never have too many militias !! Ethan Allen, 1777
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 20, 2013 8:07 pm
Not all departing principals had the opportunity to sit in on interviews. This was a Lissa Johnson decision.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 21, 2013 3:20 am
Isn't Lissa Johnson the regional administrator who had a couch / books taken out of a Lea classroom last year because it was "crowded?" When is the last year she was a teacher?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 21, 2013 5:21 pm
That is exactly why the principal of Lea, Dr. Bell-Chiles was not reassigned to her current position. Lissa Johnson made the decision regarding the reading center and made the decision not to reassign her to Lea.
Submitted by Sir Frederick Mercury (not verified) on May 16, 2013 11:30 pm
Sir Frederick Mercury: Hey everyone, welcome to another edition of Urban Matters, the official television program of The School District of Philadelphia. It’s that time of year when we celebrate all or our past successes while looking forward to a bright and rosy future. We have a great show today. Guests include Dr. William Hite, Dr. Penny Nixon, Not-Doctor Linda Wayman, and ABC anchor, Diane Sawyer. So let’s get to it. Our first guest is on speaking to us on the phone, Dr. William Hite. Welcome in, Dr. Hite. Hite: Sir Frederick, my man. Just driving in from MD. Please call me Dr. Dr. Hite seems a bit stuffy. SFM: Dr. it is. So what are you most proud of this year? What are your greatest accomplishments? Hite: Well, there are so many…. I think keeping the teacher givebacks below 25% is something I feel really good about. This kind of moderate decrease allows teachers to both feel more professional, while at the same time give back to the community that has done so much for them. SFM: What are some other high-points, Dr.? Hite: I think we addressed the so-called cheating scandal with a great deal of efficacy and efficiency. We rooted out those whistleblowers who were trying to undermine the good efforts of our best and brightest principals, and it is very satisfying to know that anyone who questions our children’s achievement will be exposed. SFM: We know you are a busy man, so one last question: are there any books you can recommend for summer reading? Hite: Well, I have tasty little morsel on my night table right now. It is Investing in Urban School Leadership: Creating a Profile of Career Principals to Inform Identification, Recruitment, Retention and Principal Development in the School District of Philadelphia by our very own, Dr. Penny Nixon. SFM: What a coincidence! Our very next guest, live and in studio, is none other than the author of Investing in Urban School Leadership: Creating a Profile of Career Principals to Inform Identification, Recruitment, Retention and Principal Development in the School District of Philadelphia, the one and only, Dr. Penny Nixon! Hey, delicious. Nixon: Hey, scrumptious. How you doin’? SFM: Splendid, just splendid. Loved the book. So how do you Identify, Recruit and Maintain! Nixon: To be quite honest, I really don’t think that it is possible in this day age. According to my book, I was a principal for 6 years, witch was way too long. My scores kicked Dr. Beverley Hall’s bottom, witch means I get Penn and she gets a stay out of jail free card. FSM: What is your opinion of Michelle Rhee? Nixon: I’ve never heard of her. SFM: So one thing you have in common is that you all know how to build leadership? Torch Lytle: Absolutely! Nixon: Absolutely. Dr. Ackerman has already assured us that the after-life has many open seats. SFM: What did you think of Diane Sawyer’s interview with Not-Doctor Wayman? (Nixon pulls a leash out of her purse. Diane Sawyer and Not-Doctor Wayman circle each other for a minute or two on National TV) Nixon: Dr. Wayman. Please explain how you have civilized the Mansion. Diane Sawyer: Not Doctor struggles through lunch, witch is understandable. I have interviewed some of the world’s most notable leaders, including Saadaam Hussein, Adolph Hitler and Joe K. Not-Doctor Wayman is by far the most efficient at identifying her problems. SFM: Like the good Dr. Said, ya’ll keep it professional, keep it real, make sure no one dies at the Mansion and read Mark Twain.
Submitted by Education Grad ... on May 16, 2013 11:46 pm
LOL! I needed that laugh.... Thank you, SFM.
Submitted by Sir Frederick Mercury (not verified) on May 17, 2013 9:26 am
Ed Grad Student’s Interview with Sir Frederick Mercury: EGS: Welome in, Sir Frederick. This is a big honor. SFM: Of course it is. How may you serve me? EGS: As an employee of the School District of Philadelphia, I would like to know how did you become so interested in the Philadelphia Educations scene? SFM: I became interested when a fellow Queen deigned to rule this shabby demesne. EGS: (mind spinning in search of the meaning of the word “demesne” so that she doesn’t embarrass herself in front of the Sir Frederick) Do you consider Dr. Ackerman to be a potential rival? SFM: Excuse you, delicious. That woman is a poor-man’s Margaret Thatcher and neither could begin to sniff my shtinker. EGS: Well, you still have to acknowledge that she did some great things. What was her greatest achievement? SFM: Her self-hagiographical retirement party almost made me want to hire her as my publicist. The crowning moment when she read the magnificent poem that allowed her to discuss the diamonds in her thighs. That alone made be believe that women might actually have potential. I haven’t been so jealous since Elton John sang at Rush Limbaugh’s wedding. EGS: Well said. What do you think of Dr. Hite? SFM: At least we know what Darth Vader looks like when he takes his mask off. He is manly, but too gentle. EGS: So what is your solution to the current crisis surrounding our schools? SFM: Scrumptious, have you seen how these people dress? Send everyone to England so that they can learn how wear a proper wig. It’s embarrassing. Every time I go into a school the Principal looks like she wants to be lead singer for Led Zeppelin. EGS: But isn’t Led Zep a British band? SFM: Child, they played the blues, not Opera like I. EGS: But how would you fund the schools? SFM: Legalize marijuana, baby. Everyone’s smoking these days. Especially teachers. How do you think Teach for America kids stay so calm and compliant? The revenues would be endless. EGS: Brilliant! SFM: Of course, delectable, of course.
Submitted by Philly Parent and Teacher (not verified) on May 17, 2013 4:31 am
I'm looking forward to more editions of "Urban Matters!" According to The Notebook, there is a principal opening at Strawberry Mansion. Is Ms. Wayman retiring? Is Penny Nixon returning? I thought the PA Legislature had the market on "believe it or not."
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 17, 2013 1:09 pm
Linda Wayman is not retiring. Her school is becoming a Promise Academy. All principals at Promise Academies have to reapply for their jobs. If she's not placed back at Mansion, she must be placed at a school. She is not under investigation.
Submitted by Philly Parent and Teacher (not verified) on May 17, 2013 3:50 pm
While I don't agree with Ms. Wayman regarding curriculum / instruction / supervision of schools, I respect the fact she returned to a principal position at a neighborhood school. She could have avoided working in a neighborhood school but chose to return. Few of her colleagues have done the same. I also know she was not at Mansion when the test scores were extremely questionable - that was under Lois Mondesire.
Submitted by Tymir (not verified) on May 17, 2013 9:07 pm
Ha ha! Are you serious? Really? I'm sorry, but Wayman did not have a choice. She's lucky to have any job at all in this city after the shenanigans she pulled under Ackerman's reign. Please do not give compliments or props to someone who did not earn them.
Submitted by Teacher (not verified) on May 20, 2013 8:14 am
OK, Linda. Thanks for your comment.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 17, 2013 11:47 pm
Can anyone verify that Penny Nixon was a principal for six years before 'quickly' moving up the ranks to Chief Academic Officer? I would really like to see the documentation of this claim.
Submitted by Sir Frederick Mercury (not verified) on May 17, 2013 11:11 pm
Never question a queen.
Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on May 19, 2013 5:44 pm
Impressive !! I like it. Now stop it !!
Submitted by Geelong Private Schools (not verified) on May 17, 2013 6:13 am
It is not the recommend of an ex student of this 30 once a year old-time belief, there are masses of of one another who part the similar impression also this is it.
Submitted by Anonymous 62 (not verified) on May 17, 2013 12:24 pm
How many of these schools were under investigation? Bill, any connection?
Submitted by Annonymous (not verified) on May 17, 2013 2:48 pm
How did Chris Johnson - former principal at Ben Franklin who complained in the Inquirer about budget cuts - get the job for SLA #2? Who was on that hiring committee? Why aren't the principal positions posted before someone gets the job?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 17, 2013 5:51 pm
That was a back door deal. SLA 2 was never posted. He's good friends with the principal at SLA 1.
Submitted by Philly 2 (not verified) on May 17, 2013 6:37 pm
So much for integrity by the SLA principal Lehman. He loves to pat himself on the back but instead of having an open and transparent process, he put his friend in charge. That after taking money from the anti-public school Phila. School Partnership. No shame!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 18, 2013 8:49 am
Let's also not ignore the way that SLA 2 (or SLA-B - as they call it) is hiring teachers. They have an internal process posted on their website. From the SLA website "teachers interested in working at SLA-B should send copies of their resume and a cover letter to" ( I find it troubling that SLA feels the entitlement to circumvent the SDP process and create their own system in this way. Lehmann and the parent community promote their partnership with SDP. SLA teachers are active and vocal members of TAG and PCAPS, promoting their commitment to PFT. However, this action flies in the face of these commitments. I have tremendous respect for the pedagogy and educational experiences they offer students, and I am excited that they are expanding. However, I find it disturbing that they develop systems that are closed, lack transparency, and do not exist within the parameters of SDP. If the leadership - including Lehmann, parents, teachers, and students - feel that the hiring process of the SDP is not conducive to running schools in positive and meaningful ways, then they should advocate to change the system on behalf of all schools, not just create their own process outside of the system.
Submitted by Philly 2 (not verified) on May 18, 2013 10:05 am
Great post. I had not idea SLA was - once again - getting to do their "thing." I assume the Workshop School will do the same thing. To date, four men have worked at the Workshop - which has NOT been a school but a program for seniors - with 27 - 28 students. Will they have the same ratio of students/teachers next year? Will there be a District wide hiring process? If not, why do SLA and the Workshop get to operate under different circumstances? I assume Lehmann already know who he and Johnson will hire. It is more nepotism.
Submitted by Education Grad ... on May 18, 2013 12:17 pm
Wow, Anonymous, This is extremely disturbing. I wouldn't be surprised if this hiring process was a stipulation attached to taking the money from the PSP. Did the SRC ever vote on taking the money from the PSP? The PFT needs to challenge this separate hiring process in court. EGS
Submitted by Annonymous (not verified) on May 18, 2013 2:47 pm
Same with the "Workshop." NONE of the 4 men working there are School District employees. (Two previously worked for the SDP). Who will hire? What positions? Will they be posted? The "Workshop" is returning to the annex that the West Philly automotive program was in about 3 years ago. So, the one man running the "Workshop" is returning to his old work site but their material clearly state "NOT part of West Philly High School." Whey weren't they put in Sayre - doesn't Sayre have room? Why do they have different administration? Why can't it be a program of Sayre? Robeson teachers trashed on Sayre - isn't Sayre good enough?
Submitted by Education Grad ... on May 18, 2013 4:04 pm
Annonymous, Learning more details about the hiring processes of SLA and the Workshop shows more and more that the PSP doesn't care about traditional public schools. Clearly, the selection of the SLA, a partnership between the District and Franklin Institute; the Workshop, a program affiliated with the District; and Hill-Freedman MS, a special-admission school, shows that the PSP doesn't care about traditional, neighborhood public schools! EGS
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Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 18, 2013 6:14 am
Surprised they are friends as their management styles are completely different.
Submitted by gdgman3 on May 18, 2013 2:18 pm
How would you describe the management style of Chris Johnson?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 18, 2013 4:30 pm
OK, I have never worked for either men, haven't met either of them either, but have heard them speak. So basically my comment was from what I have read Chris Lehmann write about on his blog about how he interacts with his teachers, and from what somebody told me first hand when it comes to Chris Johnson as this person worked under him. This person told me several stories. One that I remember well (as this was several years ago) was that Johnson would give fiery speeches at staff meetings. He would often (always?) refer to the Ben Franklin High students as his children saying "these are MY CHILDREN!". I wasn't there, and for all I know this person could have been lying, but I doubt it. If it is true it was certainly insulting to the staff. So the kids don't belong to the staff, only Chris Johnson? Of course, I realize it is not fair to characterize a person simply on what one person says happens, or how one person interprets. Heck, who knows what some people out there think about me who haven't met me by what their friends, family members, whoever have said about me. That being said, I could never see Chris Lehmann telling his SLA staff that the students belong to him, and only him.
Submitted by Annonymous (not verified) on May 18, 2013 6:34 pm
Both Lehmann and Johnson are arrogant so they share that trait. Johnson has a reputation for publicly berating teachers and acting like only he has high expectations for students. Lehmann, at least in public, gives teachers credit but still makes sure the light shines on him.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 20, 2013 10:42 am
Chris Johnson feels students should be engaged in "discovery learning." Another disconnected arrogant Administrator who couldn't handle the classroom....
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 20, 2013 10:55 am
Johnson also could not handle a neighborhood high school. Lehmann never tried to handle a neighborhood high school - in NYC or Philly. Hite can gloat over magnet schools like SLA but until he looks at what is happening in many neighborhood high schools, he has no credibility.
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Submitted by ConcernedRoxParent (not verified) on May 17, 2013 4:06 pm
I can tell you that the students and parents at Shawmont are extremely upset that our principal is retiring. However, we don't blame him. With the current budget, would you stay if your could leave? That's what they want...force people out :-( Unfortunately the one's being forced out are the ones who work hard and do it all the right way.
Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on May 19, 2013 12:33 pm
I know Mike Graff and he is the best of the best. So sorry to hear he's leaving. Mike has always had the best interests of kids in his heart and that's something not all administrators value a little bit. Yikes--so sorry to hear this.
Submitted by ConcernedRoxParent (not verified) on May 19, 2013 2:49 pm
Yes he is. He is going to be greatly missed!
Submitted by Anonymous 54 (not verified) on May 17, 2013 6:49 pm
It is great to hear from Dr. Ackerman that the here-after has open seats. The question remains, are they high performing seats?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 17, 2013 6:54 pm
Mastbaum was given to an outsider when we displaced principals.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 17, 2013 9:44 pm
I heard on a very good source that Dr. Jack Carr, principal of Gamp, is leaving and will work with String Theory Schools and will startup the Philadelphia Performing Arts Charter High School. I graduated from Gamp 4 years ago and can not imagine that school without Dr. Carr. Has anyone heard anything about this?
Submitted by anonymous (not verified) on May 17, 2013 9:02 pm
Apparently true, and the principal from McCall will be the new principal. Yet another example of a principal retiring from a traditional public school, collecting a full pension, then collecting a full additional salary in a charter school on top of the pension. Most people don't understand this handy loophole that allows what "back in the day" would be known a double dipping. So, some of us would call it double dipping today. So whats wrong with that you say? There is no incentive for an leader to remain in the soon to be extinct public schools. Hite and all can fall over chuckling as they near their goal to kill the cesspool schools. The income disparity broadens as administrators now are banking over twice what they made in the public schools- and the teachers in the charters have no union protection and make less. And the teachers in the public schools are expected to make concessions in their wages Its wrong. Plain and simple. It doesn't take a court to say so. Sick. Sick. Sick. Please have our young people who marched today explain this to their parents.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 17, 2013 11:29 pm
The whole process is an absolutely farce and no one is doing anything about it. Who is running the district? Qualified principals are not even giving an opportunity to interview while "not so qualified" Assistant Superintendents decide "which qualified principals" get to the forefront to see Dr. Hite...uh duh! If Dr. Hite wants to impact change, he needs to review qualified resumes himself and meet with teams allow back door deals to be conducted is an insult to all principals who work hard allow mean-spirited Assistant Superintendents, especially those who NEVER stayed in the position long enough to learn the real job of principals, to conduct the process, is an in absolute INSULT to those who do the job many real principals where denied the opportunity to compete while "friends of friends" where promised the cream of the crop positions? How is this still going on? I thought the state and city council was paying attention. "Hello, anyone out there who want to hear real concerns?"
Submitted by Rich Migliore (not verified) on May 18, 2013 8:02 am
This is what happens when a school district has lost its moral compass and its collective integrity. These comments drive home my point that the SRC, after a very open, honest, inclusive, and public discussion needs to develop a strict policy and "selection rules" on how we choose our principals and AP's. The district has become an "unhealthy organization" with an ethos that its people in power can do whatever they want, whenever they want, however they want. It is a system which has no rules anymore and follows no rules. That, coupled with the backroom deals of Mark Gleason and the Philadelphia School Partnership who surreptitiously want to control and influence everything that happens, including control of who becomes our leaders, ala -- the Broad Foundation. It is a prescription for chaos -- and failure.
Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on May 19, 2013 11:21 am
Rich----I agree with you BUT why don't they have to follow any rules??????? Are the courts complicit in this unlawful, illegal behavior??? Where do we turn to find justice?? Should we be shocked that many are advocating Vigilante Justice be on the table if we have no legal recourse?? Just sayin.
Submitted by Rich Migliore (not verified) on May 19, 2013 3:45 pm
Joe, the problem is that there are too few people who are willing to do what it takes to enforce the law even if it is their responsibility to do so. There is always the issue of who has standing to bring a law suit. There is also the issue of who is going to pay for the lawsuit. They are all expensive and sometimes complicated suits. Some require federal litigation pertaining to statutory and constitutional rights. The courts are not complicit in the sense that you may mean.They decide cases which are brought before them by litigants. They do not bring the legal action themselves. They do try to follow applicable statutes and applicable precedents. If they violate ethics rules, there are consequences. Judges do sometimes have tendencies to rule along ideological lines, though. That is why U.S. Supreme Court appointments and judicial elections are are so important. No matter how fair and unbiased we try to be, we always look through the lens of our own glasses. In an ideal justice system, we believe we are entitled to a fair hearing before an impartial tribunal.
Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on May 19, 2013 4:24 pm
The PFT is certainly wealthy enough to file and pay for a lawsuit. Jerry, any thoughts??
Submitted by Jerry J (not verified) on May 19, 2013 5:23 pm
I'm sorry, I can't answer right now. I'm looking for my balls.
Submitted by Jerry J (not verified) on May 19, 2013 6:16 pm
Its OK I found them. They were under a pile of corporate hush money.
Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on May 19, 2013 7:21 pm
I love your humor but now I'm getting jealous so stop it.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 18, 2013 7:15 am
Dontae Wilson - Pollock Kayla Johnstone - Leeds Key - Stover GAMP - Carol Domb Bethune - Ary Sloane Let's fill in as much as we know.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 18, 2013 9:25 am
The University principal is going to high school of the future.
Submitted by Education Grad ... on May 18, 2013 12:09 pm
Does anyone know if Dr. Bell-Chiles will be the principal at Lea next year?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 24, 2013 11:20 am
No, the former principal at Wilson will be the principal at Lea.
Submitted by AMY (not verified) on May 19, 2013 8:38 am
How are the large high schools expected to function efficiently without assistant principals? Assistant principals deal with most of the nonsense in these high schools.So, at Northeast High school with more than 3500 students, it is expected to run safely with only one principal...crazy....No wonder Philadelphians are fleeing the city.It will be another Detroit if the politicians and Hite don't get pubic education together.It is a shame. All other suburban districts are principals and assistant principals within their system. It is only Philadelphia publlc school system does not honor people within the system. It is a shame.
Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on May 19, 2013 12:31 pm
AMY--You're missing the point. They are NOT expected to function so "saviors" named charters can take their place. Of course, the charters will have all the amenities they need that the current school won't and can't receive. It's called a set up.
Submitted by anonymous (not verified) on May 19, 2013 12:21 pm
My guess is that they have seniority rights as well.
Submitted by ConcernedRoxParent (not verified) on May 20, 2013 11:21 am
Lisa Mesi will be the new principal at AMY @ James Martin. Anyone know anything about her?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 20, 2013 12:39 pm
I worked with her briefly at Sheridan West before getting called back to my old school. From what I saw she is an intelligent and deeply caring administrator. If your child is going to be attending AMY@James Martin he or she is in good hands.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 20, 2013 8:36 pm
Principals were told that if they were the only candidate to apply for a school they would not be granted an interview for that school. Lissa Johnson has her grubby hands in the process and they sure are dirty. Dr. Hite has allowed her to ruin this process. Dr. Ackerman demoted her because of her tyranny and Hite gives her full autonomy.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 21, 2013 9:49 am
Excuse me, but WHAT?? When "the public"complains about pensions they are balking at the wrong thing. THIS is what's wrong, and should be circulated far and wide: "Apparently true, and the principal from McCall will be the new principal. Yet another example of a principal retiring from a traditional public school, collecting a full pension, then collecting a full additional salary in a charter school on top of the pension."
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 22, 2013 8:45 am
How many teachers are retiring? iron foundry
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The University principal is going to high school of the future.
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